Taxonomy at a crossroads
Department of Sociology, County College South, Lancaster University, LA1 4YD, UK
Tel: +44 (0) 1524 594178 Fax: +44 (0) 1524 594256 E-mail:
Home > Activities and Progress > Activities and Progress

Activities and Progress

The project began in July 2006, since when the research team has been busy carrying out research in the U.K., North America, Kenya, Brazil and Taiwan. It has been fascinating work and we are extremely grateful to all individuals and institutions who have made this possible. We have begun to disseminate information about the project and some preliminary reflections in the form of information documents and conference papers.

Below we provide a list of individuals interviewed and meetings attended. The interviews were designed to gain understanding of varying perspectives on DNA barcoding and the future of taxonomy:


Meetings: CBOL's Regional Meetings

Claire in CampinasWe have participated so far in CBOL's first International Meeting held in London in 2005, and two of its Regional Meetings held in Nairobi (Kenya November 2006) and Campinas (Brazil March 2007).We recently participated in CBOL's second International Meeting to be held in Taipei in September 2007 .











Claire Waterton presented "Taxonomy at a Crossroads: science, publics and policy in biodiversity " at Campinas and held a focus group which included the following individuals:

  • Cassio Van Der Berg, Brazil, UEFS
  • Pablo Tubaro, Argentina, Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales
  • Jorge Terzon, Argentina, CONICET
  • Jesus Uglade, Costa Rica, INBIO
  • Roberto Melendez, Chile, Museo Nacional de Historia Natural
  • Atilano Contreras-Ramos, Mexico, UAEH
  • Raul Blas Sevillano, Peru, Universidad Nacional
  • Mireya Cajas/Tatiana Eguez, Equador, Ministerio del Medio Ambiente.


SBSSTA 12th Meeting (Subsidiary Body for Scientific, Technical and Technological Advice, Convention on Biological Diversity),Paris (UNESCO) July 2nd - 6th 2007

Rebecca Ellis attended the SBSTTA 12th Meeting held in Paris to observe ways in which the Barcoding of Life Initiative engages with the Convention on Biological Diversity. This is important, given that "Taxonomy at a Crossroads" explores the relationships between scientific innovation in taxonomy and public biodiversity policy.

She observed both the plenary sessions (Application of the Ecosystem Approach and Implementation of the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation) and selected 'side-event's:

  • The Ecosystem Approach - Practical Application Experience (The World Conservation Union - IUCN)
  • Biological and Cultural Diversity (UNESCO)
  • Global Taxonomy Initiative Global Assessment of Taxonomic Needs and Capacities (Staatliches Museum Fur Naturkunde)
  • Ways and Means to Enhance the Effectiveness of SBSTTA (SBSTTA Bureau and Former Chairs of SBSTTA)


CBOL/BOLI 'Leading Lab Meeting', Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, 10th-11th July 2007

Rebecca Ellis and Claire Waterton attended the 'Leading Lab Meeting' organised by CBOL and held in Washington. The aim of the meeting was to enable labs at important museums and biodiversity research institutes to increase their involvement in barcoding by building connections to the active barcoding labs. Through this network, labs that have not participated in barcoding projects will gain access to the protocols used for barcoding specimens and managing barcode data.

Whilst at the meeting, we took the opportunity to facilitate our own 'Structured Discussion' with selected participants. This was the first of our activities which falls within our 'Consortium Building Methodology' (Report available in the near future).


Interviews: Natural History Museum, London

KNH Centre for Biomedical Egyptology, University of Manchester


Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, London


Edinburgh Royal Botanical Gardens


American Museum of Natural History, New York


National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC


Canadian Centre for DNA Barcoding


Department of Botany and Biodiversity Institute of Ontario


GBIF (Global Biodiversity Information Facility


Global Taxonomy Initiative and European Distributed Institute of Taxonomy


Our Partners

Lancaster University

Natural History Museum

CSEC home page

CESAGen home page


| Home | Research Team | Background | Sociological & Anthropological Studies of Science |
| Methodology | Fieldwork Sites & Research Questions| Activities & Progress | Contact and Links |